UAE: A defining moment for women in GCC
23 January 2013
The induction of more women representatives in Saudi Shura Council (Parliament) by the Custodian of the two Holy Shrines, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, is yet another move for women empowerment in the region’s political arena, said Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, the First Deputy Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), who became the first woman to chair a parliament session in the history of the country.
In her opening speech as the Speaker of the house, Dr Al Qubaisi thanked King Abdullah and congratulated Saudi women for their greater participation in national decision-making.
“This is an important step for Saudi women in political action and community participation. This congratulates Saudi women on this historic achievement, and wishes them every success in the service to their society and strengthening of parliamentary work in the Gulf and the Arab world,” she told the house on Tuesday.
Dr Al Qubaisi has the credit to be the first woman to chair a parliament session in the GCC region.
She was also the only and first woman elected in the FNC 2006 elections — hers was the first name announced as the winner in FNC 20-member elections of the house of 40 in her first term as a parliamentarian.
For the current term, she was directly appointed as member by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, following her successful performance after her election to represent her people in the FNC.
Dr Amal Al Qubaisi chairing the Federal National Council session in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. — Wam
A social worker, self-made entrepreneur, historian and an architect, she was welcomed as the chair with a big round of applause by the house on Tuesday in the absence of Speaker Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, who is attending the 8th conference of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States in Khartoum, Sudan.
Both the sitting Speaker and the First Deputy Speaker are seen as a significant mark in the history of UAE Parliamentary history — the former, Al Murr, is a writer with some of the best-selling short-stories novels and a journalist (ex-editor of Khaleej Times).
In the presence of Dr Hadif bin Jowan Al-Dhahiri, Justice Minister, Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Shaikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Public Works, Dr Al Qubaisi in her opening speech called for greater participation of women in political affairs and decision-making at all levels.
“I am honoured to preside over the day sixth session of the Federal National Council’s 15 Legislative Chapter on behalf of my brother, His Excellency Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr Chairman, who could not attend the meeting due to his attendance in the eighth session of the Conference of the Parliamentary Union of OIC Member States of Islamic Cooperation in the Sudanese capital Khartoum,” she told the house.
She also elaborated on the successful Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2013 along with Water and Energy summits and the triumph of UAE Football team winning the GCC Gulf Cup in Bahrain and thanked the concerned authorities and the team for the wins.
The council also reviewed the draft bill on prevention of diseases in livestock of the country with a set of preventive measures approved that will be sent to the Cabinet for its ascent and implementation.
The other issues discussed in the house included handling of civic and other social court disputes, development of sports activities and affairs pertaining to the youth of the country.